Heroes

There is a scene at the end of the movie Black Hawk Down in which one of the characters talks about what it takes to be a hero.  After witnessing some of his closest friends lose their lives in the field of combat he states the following:

A friend of mine asked me before I got here, just when we were all shipping out.  He asked me “Why are you going to fight somebody else’s war?  What, do y’all think you’re heroes?”  I didn’t know what to say at the time, but if he asked me again, I’d say “No.” I’d say there is no way in Hell.  Nobody asks to be a hero.  It just sometimes turns out that way.

We are surrounded by a society that idolizes its heroes.  We have superheroes and comic books.  Movies about war and violence, good triumphing over evil.  We are surrounded by stories of the good man winning.  Or dying in the process.  And we stand here asking ourselves what it takes to be a hero.

I have encountered many heroes in my life.  Not many of them wear the title as a badge of honor, it’s just something that they do.  I was born and raised on Army bases where my father and many family friends served and still serve.  I have known people who, in times of desperation, put their own lives in danger to save others.  I worked alongside a humble man who was responsible for saving the lives of countless survivors in the wake of Joplin.  I have a brother and several friends who serve and work as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, saving the lives of others each and every day.

These men and women are all heroes.  But there are countless more that we will never know about.

Each day we are faced with challenges, trials, and our own personal demons.  Each day every single one of us must face the darkness within ourselves.  Many of us no longer recognize it, we just move on with our lives.  But for hundreds out there, each day is a battle to struggle forward.

Over the past week, I’ve found myself hearing a song, truly hearing it, for the first time.

Heroes are made when you make a choice
– Hero, by Superchick

It’s a beautiful song with a beautiful message.  It speaks about making the choice to continue on.  To stand up for those who are struggling.  To lend a hand to those that are experiencing the darkness of their soul, standing on the edge asking themselves if they should jump.

Each day we make a thousand choices.  And you never know when (or if) one of those choices will save someone’s life.

There was a time when we knew what the right thing to do was, but it’s becoming harder and harder to be the everyday hero.  Our society tells us to keep going.  To move forward.  To focus on yourself.  But heroes learn to live for others.

As the year is beginning, make the conscious effort to notice those around you and become the hero God has made you to be.

God Bless and PEACE

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